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Middle Eastern Intercultural Ministries

 

“For in Christ Jesus, you are all children of God through faith.” —Galatians 3:26

From Rhashell Hunter
Director, Racial Ethnic & Women’s Ministries

There is a rich heritage and history of Middle Eastern Intercultural Ministries in the PC(USA). There are currently more than 50 Middle Eastern Presbyterian congregations and fellowships in the United States worshiping in the Arabic, Armenian, Assyrian and Farsi languages. Presbyterian Middle Eastern Americans trace the origin of their faith to the apostolic age and their Reformed roots to Presbyterian mission in the Middle East in the 19th Century.

Today, Middle Eastern Intercultural Ministries works in partnership with congregations and mid councils to assist in the development and growth of new Middle Eastern worshiping communities and to equip leaders in existing Middle Eastern congregations for effective ministry in the church.

We also partner with the National Middle Eastern Presbyterian Caucus (NMEPC) to coordinate leadership training events, equip Middle Eastern Presbyterians to witness to the gospel of Jesus Christ, identify social justice inequities and act as a bridge for dialogue, promoting educational and cultural understanding of Middle Eastern issues. Rev. Magdy Girgis is field staff for Middle Eastern Intercultural Ministries in Racial Ethnic & Women’s Ministries. Following are some of his reflections:

A Beautiful Tapestry
by Magdy Girgis, Associate, Middle Eastern Intercultural Congregational Support

As field staff, I have the privilege of going around, as free as a bird, to see God in action. I can see that God really is the sustainer and upholder of the world.

I could see a new worshiping community where the pastor and his wife get in their cars early Sunday morning and pick up refugees from their homes to bring them to the church for worship. You can see the smiles on these worshipers’ faces as they restart their lives and get to practice their faith again in a new place and new culture.

During worship, they all engage in from-the-heart singing, and as the pastor shares the Word of God, you can see its effect on their faces.  After worship, everyone puts out the food they brought from home, and the congregation eats together with gladness and singleness of heart. “Where did I hear that before?” I could see images and colors woven together in a beautiful story, skillfully woven, in a beautiful tapestry. These people entered God’s story with their own story, and they can see that God really is the sustainer and upholder of the world.

About Magdy Girgis

Rev. Dr. Magdy B. Girgis serves as the part-time field staff for Middle Eastern Ministries. His responsibilities include working in partnership with mid councils to develop and grow Middle Eastern new worshiping communities and their leadership. In addition, he identifies social justice inequities and acts as a bridge for dialogue, promoting educational and cultural understanding of Middle Eastern issues in partnership with the National Middle Eastern Presbyterian Caucus and other groups. Magdy is a board-certified chaplain at Vitas Hospice Care in California. In addition to English, Magdy speaks his native language, Arabic.

Magdy brings to this position the characteristics of leadership development, communication skills, partnership, wide and diverse administrative experiences, and proficiency in various fund development efforts. He is committed to understanding the goal of igniting the movement to grow 1001 new worshiping communities by investing a good time of my life in leading missions and developing local evangelism, which is what my life is centered around because it is my passion.”

You can reach Magdy at magdy.girgis@pcusa.org. If you need a Middle Eastern PC(USA) Intercultural Ministries directory, please contact Magdy Girgis or Sherree May Thompson.

Resources

Gender and Leadership in the PC(USA)

The Gender and Leadership in the PC(USA) report is part of a larger research project assessing the status of women at all levels of the church and conducted in two main research areas: theological and sociological. This study is the sociological portion of the research, and contains two nearly-identical surveys: one representative sample of Presbyterians (Presbyterian Panel)… Read more »
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